The Character of Jesus 49

Teaching about Prayer

Luke 11:1 – 13

Trusting God with Requests

  • Characteristic: Trusting God with Requests
    • Notes:
      • Jesus had taught previously nearly the same thing in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:9 – 13).  This question is couched in terms of something John the Baptist had taught, which unfortunately was not preserved.  The previous teaching in the Sermon on the Mount was longer, but the explanation afterwards was much shorter.
      • “Thy Kingdom come” has already come to pass.
      • Some ancient commentators say that a coiled white scorpion resembles an egg.
    • (2 – 4)  Characteristics of prayer:
      • Short, unlike the hypocrites who want to be seen (Matthew 6:5) and the pagans who think they will be heard for their many words and “vain repetitions.” (Matthew 6:7).
      • Mention God’s character
      • Ask for progress in the kingdom
      • Ask for physical things
      • Ask for forgiveness “as we have forgiven others.”
      • Ask for a decrease in temptation.
    • (5 – 8)  If our grouchy neighbor will grant our request, we should trust more readily in God granting our requests.
    • (9 – 10)  These promises come with unspoken limitations:
      • Romans 8:26 – 27  The indwelling Spirit edits our prayers to be in keeping with things God does.
      • James 4:2 – 3  Some fail to receive because they don’t ask; we have to ask.  Some fail to receive because they ask “amiss” (for selfish stuff).
      • Often, what we receive is in an unexpected form.  Trust God that it is best.
    • (11 – 12)  A father (relying on the Fatherly image of God) does not give mean or dangerous gifts as a joke.
    • (13)  Asking for the Spirit:
      • The Spirit had not yet been given in the sense that all Christians have the Spirit (John 14:17, Acts 2:38, Romans 8:9 – 16).
      • Jesus had spoken briefly concerning being “born of the Spirit” previously (John 3:5 – 8, 4:23 – 24)
      • Prophets of old also had spoken of this concept (Joel 2:28, Isaiah 44:3, Ezekiel 39:29)
      • By the time Luke wrote, teaching about the indwelling Spirit was well known.
  • Application: Trusting God with Requests
    • Do we trust:
      • That God will handle our requests?
      • That we are eligible?  Do we forgive?  Do we trust?  Are we good enough?
      • That the Spirit will edit?  Are we certain that the Spirit is in us?
      • That we will like the result of the edit?
    • Do we ask for the miraculous?
      • The work of the Spirit.
      • Things not promised.
    • Is prayer a first or last option?